July 25, 2007

water shortage

Many regions are experiencing a drought this summer. Conserving water is always a good idea, but it is especially important when resources are low. Here in Northern California the water levels are low because there was not much snow in the mountains last winter.

You can view droughts across the country at the National Climatic Data Center's website. According to them, "severe to extreme drought affected about 17 percent of the contiguous United States as of the end of March 2007."

There are lots of things you can do to save water - far too many for me to list here. I found some great lists at the Water Use it Wisely and American Water websites.

When you have young kids, one place to consider saving water is the tub. A full tub can hold 40-60 gallons. It would be ideal to use 20 gallons or less (or one third of the tub). Also, place the stopper in the tub before turning on the water. The cold water that runs first can be adjusted with hot as it fills. And of course, it is great to bathe young children together.

My kids take a bath nightly as part of their bedtime ritual. But if we have had a particularly mellow day (where no one is covered in dirt, slime, food or sweat) I'll let them skip the bath. They think they are getting away with something and we save some water. Win win! They still have to brush their teeth, though.

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